Monday, May 10, 2010

Steampunk Weaponry and Harmless Drudges

High School speech students often start an oration with, "Webster defines (insert subject of speech here) as..." Not a bad idea to start a discussion with a definition. And if you're curious about definitions themselves, well, Webster defines a definer as...

Our subject today is Steampunk. Here is an agglomerated definition of this portmanteau word: Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy literature that includes technology powered by archaic methods (often, but not exclusively, steam) and an emphasis on hand-crafted, individually produced mechanical artifacts.

Common Elements of Steampunk
1. Steam locomotion, Airship transportation, Clockwork mechanization.
2. Fictional technologies, often based on archaic principles such as the Aether or Chaos Energy.
3. Victorian setting or sensibility. (1837 - 1901)
4. A lack of mass-produced goods and an emphasis on hand-crafting and crafts guilds. Clothing Victorian; embellishments, completely individualized.
5. Often presented as an alternate history of the real world.
6. Sometimes includes magic or fantastic elements or "science fiction."

These descriptors seem to be accurate to this observer, and are typical, but the definition never seems to tiptoe into the realm of the tension between the buttoned-up mores of the Victorian Era and the full-speed-ahead mentality of the Industrial Revolution.

But enough of this. People make Steampunk stuff, some of which houses modern things. And whether one traverses the aether by foot or airship, one should have an article or two of self protection.

Hence the above exercise, by a harmless drudge of the "assembled from other parts" world. Perhaps this is portmanteau art. The Thrombolean Dysambulator has the capacity to not only stop the heart of your assailant, but also to render her/his knees nonfunctionable. The Stygmisticator allows for confident self protection without sacrificing heft.

Dysambulator, $395 plus shipping; Stygmisticator, $275 plus shipping.

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